Grand Rapids and local attorney prominent in PFAS documentary premiering soon

from One-Eyed Bear Production sources

Bad Water. Small Town. Deaf Ears. Everything You Need to Know About PFAS, But Do Not Know How to Ask is an 84-minute documentary about the growing crisis surrounding PFAS water contamination. The movie, produced by two Detroit filmmakers, premieres at Celebration Cinema Woodland Mall in Grand Rapids on June 20, and will continue twice daily through Sunday, June 23.

The independent feature was shot over the past two years in five communities and three states where PFAS, or per- and poly-fluoro-alkyl substances, have infiltrated and contaminated both private and municipal wells. Interviews with clean water advocates, and attorney Aaron Phelps at Varnum Law were recorded in Oscoda, Belmont and Rockford, Mich.; Hoosick Falls, N.Y.; and Merrimack, N.H.

“Bad Water... was produced as a primer mostly for newcomers to the medical and legal issues of PFAS contamination in drinking water,” said Victor Pytko, one of the movie's producers. “In this movie, everyday citizens, fed up with a system that should be protecting them, describe the devastating effects these toxins have had on their friends and families as well as the need to educate legislators and agencies that should have been regulating these 'forever chemicals.'” said Pytko.

“Some 5,000 of these manmade compounds are unregulated and can enter the environment to wreak havoc with our health and well-being. Nearly every American, about 99.7 percent of us, have some level of PFAS in our blood, putting us all at risk for a host of illnesses, diseases and cancers, even death. Once they enter the body, they remain there, building up slowly, over our lifetimes. The bond of the fluorine and carbon atoms is so strong that is almost impossible to get them to break down, hence the term forever,” said co-producer Ed Gardiner.

PFAS compounds are everywhere, in the air, soil and water. They are found in dental floss, cosmetics, food wrappers, non-stick cookware, plumbers' pipe sealant, textiles, furniture...even firemen's protective gear.

Recently, a highly toxic PFAS has been showing up on the shores of lakes and rivers as wind-whipped foam which derives from heavy use of a firefighting product called AFFF.

Areas surrounding more than 400 U.S. air bases that use AFFF for training have been found to have groundwater contamination due to this variation of PFAS.

Showtimes are 3:00 and 7:00 pm. Celebration Cinema Woodland Mall is located at 3195 28th Street S.E., Grand Rapids.

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